gift employee rewardsI’m often asked, “How can we make sure that our Employee Rewards Program is successful?”

Our research and experience have shown us 12 top reasons why some Programs are far more successful than others.

Here are the Top Reasons #7, 8 and 9:

  1. Be consistent and reliable. This process of positive recognition and reward will quickly become very important to your employees, so make sure you take this seriously and keep it active.
  2. Strike while the iron is hot. Be quick to show appreciation, so you strengthen the connection between the positive behavior and the resulting recognition reward.
  3. One size does not fit all. Make the reward match the behavior by using multiple “levels” of rewards, and offer choices so the recipient can choose their own reward within each level.
7 Be consistent and reliable.
If you want to see the best possible results from your Employee Rewards Program, your program needs to be up and running all the time, regular and reliable. A good rewards program will quickly become very important to your company’s employees. They will be thinking about it, and giving extra effort because of it; which, after all, is why you set up a program like this in the first place. So if it starts to slip through the cracks your employees will notice, and the extra effort they have been motivated to give could be lost. If you set up your program with the understanding that rewards will be given out each week, then make sure your managers don’t get too busy or distracted to follow through. We recommend appointing a company-wide Rewards Manager; someone who will track each recognition reward given out, and make sure that ALL your managers are consistently using the program. Or, an even more effective way to run your Employee Rewards Program could be to use an outside company that specializes in this, so it’s not an add-on responsibility to an existing employee’s job. An outside professional service is often the best way to ensure that your program is being used the way you intended it to be.

8 Strike while the iron is hot.
When you see someone exhibiting the type of above average behavior that you’re trying to encourage – BE QUICK, while the event is fresh in everyone’s mind… Give out rewards as soon as you can. Positive reinforcement training is the most effective way to teach and learn, and it gets the best results when the reward is tied quickly and directly to the behavior. You want to design your rewards program so that managers have a very quick way to show their appreciate to an employee. It can be cumbersome to maintain a quick/easy access “prize closet” that every manager has access to, but you can use a reward announcement sheet to let an employee know they’re being recognized, and then have the actual reward show up a few days later, as quickly as time permits.

9 One size does not fit all.
When an employee is being recognized, and receiving a reward, it’s important to give her a choice of rewards to receive. Your program should always have at least 2 or 3 choices for the recipient to choose from, so that it’s a personal decision. This creates ‘buy in’ from the employee, and greatly increases the positive feelings each person has when they are rewarded. Furthermore, you should match the level of reward to the level of positive behavior. This means your recognition program should have multiple levels of rewards; smaller rewards for smaller daily or weekly good deeds, and larger rewards for larger accomplishments. So, when you combine multiple rewards levels, and multiple choices at each level, your program quickly grows to have a combined total of 8 to 12 different rewards options, or more. This is a good thing, choices are important to this type of program, just make sure that you or your outside rewards management provider are prepared to mange this and keep the rewards items available.